October in the Garden

Once again another late round-up!. October’s been a very busy month for harvesting but not much else. With the exception of the brassicas it has to be said the patch is looking rather sorry for itself these days. There’s been a lot of ends and not too many beginnings.

The tommies have finally ALL been harvested. After all the hard work they gave me over the summer I was on the whole pleased to see an end, but also just a little bit sad. I stripped all the plants just before the first frosts at the end of the month, collecting a few final baskets to work on. I managing to make some lovely bottles of Homemade Tomato Ketchup, my 3rd batch of The Garden of Eating’s Tomato & Chilli Jam  and with all the leftover green tommies quite a number of jars of Green Tomato Chutney.

The borlotties have also finished (the last remaining fresh ones have been made into a fab Borlotti, Chicken & Pumpkin Stew that I shall be blogging shortly, the earlier dried ones I’m saving for colder veggie-less days), as have the french beans (though there’s countless bags in the freezer) and calabrese.  The basil died at the first frosts, just before I had time to pick and make batches of pesto, damn!. Luckily all the other herbs are boldly braving the harsh weather we’re suddenly having. The aubergines have pretty much stopped and the last have been made into Parmigiana (recipe also soon, I’m so behind!) and a lovely Comforting Moussaka thanks to a recipe from Rachel of the Well Worn Whisk blog. There’s also a few stray peppers and chillies but they’re not going to hold out much longer.

The last of our Aubergines

I collected up the last of our pumpkins and squash at the end of the month, as you can see there’s quite an assortment and a good deal of ripening required! The greenies are now languishing in our warm lounge hoping to turn a little more orange. Luckily I still have a hefty supply of fully ripe beasts that should see us through the winter with Pumpkin Soups!. Incidentally I’m carrying on my October Pumpkin Veg of the Month into November as I’m so behind on blogging all my pumpkiny recipes.

The last of our Pumpkins & Squash

As I said the brassicas are fairing pretty well, though somehow have become a bit of jumble. Another mix up with the seedlings. Ahem. We may just have a few brussel sprouts soon (though they didn’t fare well in the summer heat) and the cabbages are ready for picking. It’s also looking like the little bit of Purple Sprouting Broccoli that took may be coming good soon too. Fingers crossed, it’s one of my favourite veggies.

The Brassicas, the only bit of healthy green on the plot!

As for the wild fruit that’s all sadly now finished now that we’ve come into the colds of November, but was pretty prolific in October. We had greengages or mirabelles galore (I’m still not too convinced as to what exactly they were since everyone had a differing opinion, other than delicious of course and now Jam). Plus a huge abundance of pears, a few apples, blackberries, slows and elderberries and figs a plenty picked from neighbouring land. Most of which went into chutney, including my own Hedgerow Chutney.  And the figs have been wonderful in The Garden Deli’s Fig Jam.

Here’s what we’re currently eating from the Patch:
Herbs: Chives, Thyme, Rosemary, Mint,  Sage, Parsley, Coriander, Tarragon, Oregano
Spring Onions
Swiss Chard
And what’s stored: 
Red Onions
Green Beans (freezer)
Tomatoes, Tomatoes and More Tomatoes! (freezer and in lots of jars!)
Plums, pears, greengages, figs (freezer)

Now that’s about it for the October round-up.  I really must get out there and plant some more spinach and my over-wintering broad beans and garlic. It’s been a long while since anything new’s been sowed and as usual I’m falling way behind. C’est la vie!


Jacques caterpillar watching on my Cauliflower (I think!) plants, like most little boys he loves his bugs


18 responses to “October in the Garden

  • Anneli Faiers (@Delicieux_fr)

    Hi Louisa, I have just stumbled upon your blog and I see we have tonnes in common. I moved to SW France 5 years ago and also write a food blog. Please pop over and check it out. I am so impressed with your potager….ours has been a bit of a let down this year for various reasons. I love your photos and look forward to reading more posts on all the lovely food you will make from your produce! Very nice to find you 🙂

    • Chez Foti

      Hi Anneli, we really do have a good deal in common don’t we?! Thanks so much for getting in touch. Strangely enough I do now remember when I first started following you on Twitter I thought you must be quite nearby, and then the usual memory loss and time constraints took over. Oops, so sorry. We’re in Larroque-Magnoac in Haute Pyrenees, where are you?
      I’ve had a little look at your website and blog, and so far loving it all. Especially the recent fig recipes. You’ve got some fabulous recipes on there!
      So looking forward to getting to know you lots more,

      • annelifaiers

        We are in a tiny village called Larroque-Saint-Sernin in the Gers….near Auch. So glad we have made proper contact. I look forward to many more posts and interests in common 🙂

  • thegardendeli

    You have a fine harvest there to show for all you hard work in October Louisa. Thanks for the mention of my fig jam – glad you liked it!

  • Andrea Mynard

    Your potager may be looking a little more bare (I know how you feel, mainly just randomly mixed brassicas and a few root veggies in my garden now) but wow, your harvest looks wonderful. Those aubergines! And how lovely after all your hard work to know you have so much tomato sauce, jam, chutney, stored squash for the winter. Look forward to hearing how you cook it. Andrea

    • Chez Foti

      Thanks Andrea. Yep, lots of hard work but so worth it at this time of the year with a full freezer and store cupboard of jarred goodies. I quite like the random brassicas, as I really have no idea what they’re going to grow into! Should be fun.

  • Anne

    Wow, love what you have harvested Louisa! Must be nice to eat what you grow.

    • Chez Foti

      Thanks Anne, it is really special eating what we grow. I’m trying very hard to be veggie self-sufficient and have barely bought a thing since early June which is pretty rewarding.

  • Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

    What a wonderful harvest – I am still picking quince, pears and apples from the garden, but the tomatoes are all gone. Lovely post Louisa. Karen

    • Chez Foti

      It’s been a huge harvest of nearly everything this year keeping me a little too busy!. We only had a few apples this year but lots of pears, all now finished. Would love to have my own quince!

  • laura_howtocook

    You have so many wonderful ingredients to use and I wish I could come and see your store room as well as your larder. I bet it is full of goodies!

  • shacklefordlb

    I do enjoy your monthly round-up, even if it leaves me green with envy.

    I let the hens into the veggie patch, so it’s nicely turned over. And they are rewarding me with lots of eggs 🙂

    • Chez Foti

      I really need to re-fence my veggie patch and just fence off the winter crops so the chickens can have a good scratch around at all the leftovers from the summer. Glad you’re getting eggs now, I don’t think you can beat the taste of your own eggs can you?

  • Mark Willis

    You’ll think me pedantic, but “Borlotties” is not correct. The plural of Borlotto is Borlotti (Sorry!). Your veg production is in such stark contrast to mine – such profusion!

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